Visibly Frustrated D'Angelo Russell Refused To Answer A Question About Rui Hachimura - Sport News

Visibly Frustrated D’Angelo Russell Refused To Answer A Question About Rui Hachimura

D’Angelo Russell didn’t want to comment on the reasons behind Rui Hachimura’s passive second-half performance in a loss against the Kings.

NBA rumors: Lakers' stance on D'Angelo Russell amid recent hot stretch

The Los Angeles Lakers fell to a costly 107-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings last night. D’Angelo Russell had a bad performance though Rui Hachimura impressed everyone with his first-half explosion. When Russell was asked about why Hachimura didn’t get the same opportunity to impact the game in the second half, he had a cryptic response.

“I’d rather not go there with it. It was a good game from Rui.”

Rui Hachimura impressed everyone by putting up 20 points, with 17 of them coming in the first half. Curiously, Hachimura only attempted one shot the entirety of the second half, which was a made three-pointer. Hachimura played 17 of the 24 minutes of the second half but was essentially lost within a Lakers offense that was anyway misfiring. There was no attempt in the coaching to get him involved in scoring actions, which seems to have upset D’Lo.

Russell put up just six points in the contest, being completely unreliable with his jump shot all game. The timing of this performance is less than ideal, as Russell gave a massive interview to ESPN earlier that day where he took shots at the trade rumors he was put in all season long. Most importantly, he had some interesting revelations about his relationship with Darvin Ham.

D’Angelo Russell Doesn’t Like Darvin Ham

Russell’s comment about Hachimura’s lack of involvement in the second half is a shot at coach Darvin Ham, who is in charge of the offensive schemes that the Lakers run. Russell’s interview with ESPN covers the pain points of their relationship, starting with Ham’s biased preference for Dennis Schroder impacting Russell’s role on the team last season and during the playoffs.

“His relationship with Darvin is the reason I couldn’t have a relationship with Darvin… When I was struggling, I would’ve been able to come to the coach and say, ‘Bro, this is what we should do. Like, I can help you.’ Instead, there was no dialogue… I just accepted it. And we got swept and I’m here and he’s not. And I like our chances.”

The pair also clashed over strategy during a film session in January, showing that Russell isn’t afraid to stand up to Ham. Russell has valid feelings of distrust after how Ham treated him with Dennis Schroder, so he likely isn’t thrilled about the current coaching situation in LA.

There have been murmurs of the Lakers players being unhappy with Ham for months, but Jeanie Buss’s support has ensured Ham stays in charge until the end of the season. The team is united on a winning focus and will continue pushing even if they dislike Ham, but an early exit could spell the end of his tenure in LA.

Russell is averaging 17.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 3.0 rebounds this season, battling with an inconsistent role that has seen him get benched for weeks at a time this season. Last night’s performance didn’t do his possible free agency market any favors either. If the Lakers want to succeed with the cards they have in their hand, Russell needs to be the game-changing x-factor, even if he and Ham have a troubled relationship.

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